4 Princess Crown Princess Cruise Reviews for First-Time Cruisers Cruises to Mexican Riviera

My parents treated me to my 1st ever cruise...a 7 day Mexican Riveria cruise from L.A. We had a mini-suite (Dolphin Deck - deck 9, and mid-ship) so it was a great location for a cabin. I was so not sure of what to expect, I expected to ... Read More
My parents treated me to my 1st ever cruise...a 7 day Mexican Riveria cruise from L.A. We had a mini-suite (Dolphin Deck - deck 9, and mid-ship) so it was a great location for a cabin. I was so not sure of what to expect, I expected to feel the motion of the ship way more than I did. Anyway, the ship was really nice, the cabin was great, big enough for 3 people, but would have been better for just 2, but anyway, the ship was nice, the food was amazing and the crew was friendly, attentive, helpful and always eager to please. Here are the negatives, at least for me: first, we went on Presidents Day weekend, AND it was also Valentines Day, so as a single, it was all families and couples - so BOO to that, nothing for a single girl to do. Second, the first 2.5 days we were at sea, that was brutal, there was nothing fun to do in the way of things I like, like there was no pool table, bowling alley, karoke bar, not even a big slide for the pool. What there was however, was a art auction (snooze), movies under the starts (played almost ALL kids movies), bingo, line dancing, knitting group meet up, etc, all stuff for old people (and I am 47), but c'mon. The casino was the only saving grace, but they allowed people to SMOKE in there ! Ew - really ? The shows were not really interesting enough to even go see, except the comedian, but he was only on for like 40 minutes. Overall, the boat was nice, the crew was great, our cabin was pretty big, but if you are a single person, this is probably not the cruise line for you. I will most likely not cruise again, or maybe go with friends and not for 7 days. ***Side Note*** for those of you who do not know, cruise ship employees work about 91 hours a WEEK! I have a friend who is a Cruise Ship Director and that is what she has told me, so if you go - please try to remember that and treat them nicely. Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
We have cruised several times, although I think this is the first review we have written. This was however the first time we have ever cruised in a suite. (We were given a last minute upgrade purchase option that made it all worth it). The ... Read More
We have cruised several times, although I think this is the first review we have written. This was however the first time we have ever cruised in a suite. (We were given a last minute upgrade purchase option that made it all worth it). The other important thing to know is that our entire family are vegetarians. Embarkation went smoothly. Smoother than we have had in the past, but we have never been in a suite before, so we were nicely moved along to a separate room, where we were the 2nd group to board the ship. (B2B-ers went first). They had the normal ship coffee and pastries. The room was nosier than we expected, being right next the metal detectors, you could hear a lot of what was going on there. The cabin was really amazing. Again, being the first time in a suite, we were surprised at the overall size of the cabin, although it is still smaller then you think it should be based on the photos and floor plan. The floor plan was the same as the one they show online, but the balcony (being an aft cabin) was really large. There was more than enough room for the two lounge chairs and the table and chairs they had out there. The bed was comfortable, slightly better than we have had on previous Princess cruises. The extra pillows were also nice. The bathroom was very nice, having a full sized whirlpool bathtub and separate shower. The sink area had ample storage for our short cruise, but the closet was small, fine for our 4 day or even a 7 day, but you would need to rely on the free laundry that comes as a perk of the suite to do much over 7 days with that closet. We visited the Lotus Spa on the first day and had a look at the thermal suite (something you can use for free as a suite passenger) but never found the time to go back and actually use it while at sea. The staff was knowledgeable, but as usual it’s a pretty hard sell. We did not see any shows while on board, as we had our 18 month old who preferred to go to bed after dinner, but we did enjoy the various groups they have around the ship. The shows were heavy on comedy, not toddler friendly. The events that we viewed Pool, board and trivia games all looked very well organized and people were having a lot of fun. We did not go to either Sabatini’s or the Crown Grill, primarily because they don’t have a lot of offerings to vegetarians and it seems silly to get the same food they would prepare in the dining room for a $25 surcharge (Although for longer voyages, Suites do get the first night at a specialty restaurant comp’d). The few times we ate at the Horizon Court Buffet, there was a reasonable selection of food, most of the people knew what was in the food when asked (is there meat in this?). The food was hot and fairly fresh. As usual, the desserts found at the Buffet were dry, too sweet or overall just not high quality. They were quick to find a high chair each time we needed. We had traditional early dining at Botticelli’s (Deck 6 –Aft) and were pleasantly surprised each evening. The head waiter visited us and made sure there was something on the menu each night for us. The 50th anniversary dinner was very poorly planned for vegetarians, so the head chef made us a pasta primavera that evening and our daughter had a very fancy grilled cheese sandwich. It was excellent. We had tea in our suite several times. (Another suite perk) Because a lot of the sandwiches contain meat, and the rest of the desserts they serve are very like those from the buffet, we focus our tea time on the scones, cream and jam. They delivered large quantities of the scones, jam and cream- so much so that where we actually kept the jam for the next day. In addition, they delivered fresh canapés to our room and for vegetarians this meant chocolate dipped strawberries- in our room, every day. Amazing. Because we were in a suite, we were able to have breakfast each morning in Sabatini’s. This was a great experience, although one of the days all of the timings were off. I am not sure if someone was missing or what was going on, but almost everything took forever and food was not as fresh as the other mornings. The food was for the most part excellent, and they will go and get almost anything for you – but they don’t have some things on hand that I would have expected (like berries). The service was great, with one exception. We were inquiring about the “Private portrait sitting with onboard photographer” as we had our 18 month old we were interested in getting a family portrait. On the typical flyer, there is no mention of cost, but when looking at the list of services in the room, it noted a “nominal fee” would be charged. When we asked down in the photo gallery about what it was, and how much it cost, we were told that a portrait sitting was free. So we asked the front desk, and this caused massive confusion, with no less than 6 calls/messages and emails back to corporate to figure out what we were asking about (because somewhere along the line we were asking for something for free, and they were not sure how to do that) In the end they said they could not do it for free, (even though we are fairly sure it is free for everyone else) we just gave up. The room steward was great, cleaning up after us and my 18 month old and making sure we had DVDs in our room as requested through-out the cruise. Disembarkation is the one thing that Princess just can’t get right. We have been part of relatively smooth ones and disasters. It started with them sending us luggage tags that put is in “Pink 6”, which nicely had us off the ship fairly early in the morning. (Scheduled to meet at 8:45). There was a small note on the bottom of the instructions that basically said “We gave you luggage tags, but we expect you to deal with all of your own luggage” I confirmed with the services desk we were currently in the self-disembark group. This surprised us a little, as we have never asked for it, and last Princess Cruise we were on (4 months earlier) we were told we could NOT self-disembark because we had 3 pieces of luggage and only two adults. In the morning, around 8:30 we headed down to the Da Vinci Dining Room with our luggage. This was not exactly easy, having to use multiple sets of elevators (as we had our luggage) only to finally arrive on the 6th floor to be told, we could get off the ship already just go back up the stairs to the 7th floor and get off the ship. We finally got an elevator (about 10 seconds before deciding to make multiple trips up the stairs) made it back to the 7th floor to find complete chaos. There were no instructions or directions to how to get off the ship. We finally asked someone, and were taken down a back way to get off the ship (as we left, we heard him use the radio asking why no one was escorting people to the correct doors). Overall, we had a great cruise, and enjoyed the perks of a suite. We would definitely take them up on an offer to upgrade again, but not sure we could justify the full price cost, although we have decided that for our 25th anniversary we go to Hawaii 14-day in an aft suite. Pictures of the ship and our cabin can be found here: https://plus.google.com/photos/112661749207210693534/albums/6115849031021612785/6115849057770445170?pid=6115849057770445170&oid=112661749207210693534   Read Less
Sail Date February 2015
It is our first cruise, and while we had a good time my husband and me, we must say that it was almost impossible to forget the two thousand + passengers onboard. Acitivities on the boat were full or crowded, dining was always an issue ... Read More
It is our first cruise, and while we had a good time my husband and me, we must say that it was almost impossible to forget the two thousand + passengers onboard. Acitivities on the boat were full or crowded, dining was always an issue between 6 & 8pm. We were told by an employee that it was difficult to manage so many people, and that we had to make reservations by 8am sharp. Hum...so much for the relaxing atmosphere. Overall, the service was very friendly when provided by kind, humble staff. Yet, the Eastern staff (Ukrainian, serbians...)was not as friendly, and definitively not humble. Food was very good, but stay away from any "so called" French food. The chefs are not up to the task, beside very good quiches and fresh fruit tarts. As for the meals, mistakes were corrected, apologies stated, yet two of our evenings were spoiled, and no reparation was done! The room was very small, yet we spent a lot of time in it, as we do not like crowded places. We strongly recommand the "Zipline in the Jungle" in Puerto Vallarta. Soooo much fun!!!!!! Although their picture packages are very expensive compare to other excursions along the trip. Overall, a good experience, but not as relaxing as expected.   Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
While researching cruises, I noticed that many reviews that are less than positive are overcome by a litany of responses attempting to defend the line and/or ship. I'm not sure what it is about cruising culture, but people don't ... Read More
While researching cruises, I noticed that many reviews that are less than positive are overcome by a litany of responses attempting to defend the line and/or ship. I'm not sure what it is about cruising culture, but people don't like to hear bad things about their beloved cruise lines. After the experience that I had, I feel compelled to come here and share my experience. About two weeks before we left, I came across an article titled "Month-Long Poop Cruise Finally Docks, Promptly Picks Up New Victims" (http://gawker.com/month-long-poop-cruise-finally-docks-promptly-picks-up-1659472459) This would be our ship, the Crown Princess. I kind of chuckled about that, knowing that I wouldn't normally go on such a cruise, but we had a decent sized group going and it was for Thanksgiving. We also had non-refundable airline tickets. We pressed on. I had, at first, considered writing a lengthy review, but then it would go unread. With that, I'm instead opting to share some general points about my experience: 1. The staff was miserable - They were burned out, overworked and bitter. The majority of them were rude and not helpful. After spending all of their rare free time over the past six weeks battling Norovirus, it's hard to blame them, but then I paid for a different experience. None of them were from the U.S. and many had trouble with English. I do not have a positive impression about any of the staff. 2. The food was terrible - I'm being completely honest when I say that the Walnut Creek, CA Kaiser Hospital serves food an order of magnitude better than anything on this ship. The Crown Grill was decent, but everything else was just crap. I get that a lot of people with limited dining experience enjoy the food, as will those trying to stuff as many cheap calories into their faces as possible, but it's not for me. 3. Drinks were bad - If you could get a drink, it wasn't good. Most of what we got was sugary and sweet. I ordered a Sidecar as a test and, sure enough, it was water. I asked the bartender about it and he named sweet and sour as one of the ingredients. I told him that sweet and sour has no place in a Sidecar and he argued with me. They clearly don't know how to tend bar. Wine lists were anemic, at best, and indicative of the class of patrons being served. 4. Elevators were awful - 5+ minute wait for elevators only to be met by a sardine can stuffed with people. Kids made it worse toward the end by calling every elevator on every floor and pushing every button in the elevator. This effectively shut down service. 5. No room service - It was impossible to reach room service at any point during our 7 day cruise. My children were in isolation and that was their primary source of sustenance. Not good. 6. Norovirus - My children contracted Norovirus and the ship's lack of response was disgusting. There was massive contamination and I couldn't get anyone to come help. This definitely had an affect on other passengers. Out of eight people in our group, five us us became infected despite bleach wiping absolutely everything several times per day and carrying hand sanitizer in our pockets. We probably went through a quart of hand sanitizer. No one is cleaner than our family. 7. No Sleep - Forget about sleep. Between the two fire alarms and the blabber mouth captain, there was little opportunity for uninterrupted sleep. Never again. Like I said, I know that a lot of you love to cruise and think that the experience is amazing. I disagree, and that's my opinion. Apart from the bitter crew, the food stood out as just being awful. I have never been served worse food and, having been in the military, that's saying a lot. In summary, you couldn't get me on another cruise for any amount of money.   Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
Crown Princess Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.5 4.1
Dining 4.0 3.8
Entertainment 4.0 3.6
Public Rooms 4.0 4.2
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.8
Family 4.5 3.8
Shore Excursion 5.0 3.7
Enrichment 4.0 3.4
Service 4.5 4.2
Value For Money 4.0 3.8
Rates 4.0 4.1

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